Roni Fine attempts to classify the different stages of Naturism and asks are you Regular or Weird!
10 Naked all the time I can!
9 Naked at all BN events.
8 Naked at Naturist clubs.
7 Naked on dedicated Naturist beaches.
6 Naked on holiday abroad.
5 Naked in own (secluded) garden.
4 Naked in own home alone.
3 Naked; might be tempted but unlikely.
2 Naked; only when essential.
1 Naked? No! Don’t even talk about it!
When I started encouraging other people to give Naturism a try I knew some thought it was a strange thing done by weird people, plus me. Well they obviously weren’t classing me as weird, they must have meant the others!
I soon decided there were different degrees of perceived weirdness as we are individuals and all have different reasons for being Naturist and different ways of being so.
I make no secret of the fact that when I met my husband and realised he belonged to a Naturist club I told him not to even ask me to go there as I wouldn’t, not ever, never!
So that was me at number 1.
Then I relented and thought I ought to at least give it a try for his sake, as I could tell he’d enjoyed going. So I wavered between 3 and 4.
Meanwhile I tried Naturism for the first time on the Welsh Morfa Dyffryn beach. Going naked on a public beach is easier than being up close to people and there’s a certain amount of protection from the anonymity it provides. That took me up to 7.
That experience prompted me to discovering, on a wet day in May, that the club grounds were lovely; the bluebells amongst the trees were beautiful. The few members present came across as friendly, “normal” people, so I agreed to return when the weather was sunny: the rest is history! That placed me at number 8.
In the past 12 yrs as Public Relations Officer for my club I have been interviewed and photographed for magazines and newspapers, spoken on local radio (I was naked for that!) and even filmed for a television programme (for which I stayed dressed and was subsequently labelled a prudish Naturist!) I know the media like to use nudity to increase the viewing figures but I have frequently warned them to watch out for the eccentrics. They are in all walks of life, not just the Naturist community, and they love the attention and are sometimes more of an exhibitionist than a regular Naturist, after all, Naturism is about feeling good and never about being looked at.
Ahh, but what, I hear you ask, is a “regular Naturist”? A very good question! This is where my Naturist scale came in. Initially I thought being a Naturist meant you preferred not to wear clothes but I’ve since discovered it isn’t that simple. Some will only strip off in certain situations and are uncomfortable in others. I’d thought being a Naturist at ease with one’s own nudity would include being at ease with other people’s nudity too but it seems this isn’t always the case and this surprises me.
Most houses now have draught free UPVC windows and central heating and, with lovely warm duvets, people no longer need to wear clothes to sleep in but just because I sleep naked doesn’t mean all Naturists do. Whilst I personally have never felt the need to attend a Naturist shopping night in a local store (imagine the hassle of getting undressed, what to do with your clothes, the look of the sales assistants and passers-by staring in the windows!) attend “cinema in the buff” (why would I want to sit naked in the dark with other naked people?) ride a Northampton test lift tower (but then I don’t like heights or being crammed into a small space with a lot of people, naked or otherwise) appear naked on TV (unnecessary and anyway, they are never actually seen to be completely naked so why bother?) or even streak across a cricket ground (that is so old hat!) but I really don’t mind if other Naturists do all of these things and their doing so wouldn’t make me feel uncomfortable. I also think there are two main categories of Naturism; “Outdoors” and “Indoors/Outdoors”. I mostly fall into the Outdoor category. I had no idea why people wanted to take part in social nudity until I felt the warm breeze on my bare skin and realised it was because it felt good! As simple as that! I don’t necessarily need the hot sunshine to bask in. Just give me enough warmth to feel comfortable and it can be in shade or cloud but, preferably, not rain!
There are many who see Naturism as a way to obtain an all over tan without the dreaded white bits – which, trust me, can be one of the worst things to happen to a Naturist! These people will be seen poolside in foreign climes or only on the hottest, brightest days of our own summers. Many of this category will lay on their sun beds, rotating slowly all afternoon but come sundown, they are up and dressed even if the temperature doesn’t drop drastically. They equate cloudy weather and sunset as the time to be clothed whilst the rest want to remain naked until they feel the cold and dress accordingly.
Foreign holidays are also a time many will go skinny-dipping but deny being a Naturist and would never do the same thing back home. They are only comfortable whilst they have the excitement of the holiday to explain their enjoyment of nudity, albeit short lived.
The other main category will strip off whenever, and wherever, they can. They will attend any Naturist location and event purely to be naked whether indoors or out and even in inclement weather. These are the 10s. They might even have their heating on higher in the colder months so that they can remain naked in comfort. While I choose not to pay higher energy bills to do this, I have no problem with those who do. Actually it’s sometimes nice to snuggle under a soft blanket on the settee on a winter’s night, so I do what I prefer and they do what they prefer. I’m not adverse to winter Naturism, in fact I’ve washed my car naked on a cold but bright New Year’s Day – at the club, I hasten to add, not outside my house!
Some want to live their lives naked and consider it unnecessary to dress even when they have visitors to their house. They are saying, “I’m a Naturist, accept me as I am!” and if it works for them, who am I to suggest it’s wrong? But there are those who will. I think it would be best if the visitors are aware of this decision before they enter the home but having just come in, they will know the way out if they can’t cope! I would respect the home owner’s choice as “The Englishman’s home is his castle”.
I’ve attended a BN AGM that wasn’t at a Naturist venue and I considered the few that wanted to challenge their right to be naked were actually being unreasonable and it was correct for BN to consider others in the building that hadn’t expected, or chosen, to see naked people. That didn’t make any of us any less of a Naturist.
I have noticed those playing at BN sporting events are often partially or fully clothed and few are naked and I’ve heard people complain that you’d hardly know it was a Naturist event. Maybe they should ask the contestants why they do this. I did. They explained it’s due to comfort and warmth as well as sometimes feeling a little too exposed bending down whilst under close scrutiny of the spectators, such as occurs with a game of Petanque. I can understand that.
I often hear people talking about their particular club’s rules which usually make perfect sense as a club has to create a pleasant and safe environment for their members else they won’t continue to be members and the club could easily fall into financial difficulties.
It’s understandable that clubs make one or two evening socials quite formal as even Naturists like to don their dinner suits and sparkly gowns at times and most think fancy dress is fun but the majority prefer discos and dances to be clothed as they object to naked people getting up close and personal on the dance floor, but are they right to ban it? People should behave well whether clothed or not and Naturism is a non-sexual nudity but if they feel there’s a risk, they should perhaps dance further apart! There are those who say they don’t want to see “people’s bits jiggle up and down”. We say Naturism is about body confidence and not necessarily body beautiful so perhaps we should accept people’s wobbly bits and live for the moment! Those who can fully immerse themselves into the music are to be envied, not criticised.
BN events are obviously going to be encouraging nudity as that is their reason for existence. Be prepared to be naked 24/7 during meetings, activities, meals and dancing. It’s perfectly obvious why events such as the water park at Alton Towers suits Naturism; none of us would want to return to wearing soggy swimwear!
Seasoned BN members see nudity as a lifestyle and will carry out all their activities, be it body painting, yoga, debating or dining, whilst naked and think nothing of it. Their nudity continues through the evening of music and dancing and it seems to work well as I’ve never heard of anyone being evicted from the dance floor for inappropriate behaviour.
I thought Naturism was about body acceptance and being comfortable in your own skin amongst like-minded people but it seems some have a problem and there are still times, even within a Naturist environment, that nudity is frowned upon. I think the solution to all of these situations is simply “Personal Choice”.
I think we need to accept that with any large group of people there will be different preferences and we should be more lenient towards one another, respect one another’s choices and accept, though we all do things slightly differently, we all embrace the one thing that unites us: Nudity!
That brings me back to the Naturist scale; which is Regular and which is Weird? Number one or number ten?